from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Hold Those Obituaries for the Liberal World Order

G7 leaders at a working session during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on August 25, 2019.
G7 leaders at a working session during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool

The rules-based, international system may be in crisis, but its strategic and normative logic is as compelling as ever.

Originally published at World Politics Review

October 5, 2020

G7 leaders at a working session during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on August 25, 2019.
G7 leaders at a working session during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
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In my weekly column for World Politics Review, I review G. John Ikenberry's new book, "A World Safe for Democracy," which delves into the origins of liberal internationalism, why it is in crisis now, and how it can be revived. 

Documenting the demise of the liberal international order has become a growth industry in the foreign policy sector. In a terrific new book, “A World Safe for Democracy,” G. John Ikenberry, the premier analyst of liberal internationalism, contends that reports of its death are greatly exaggerated. The rules-based, international system may be in crisis, but its strategic and normative logic is as compelling as ever.

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World Order

Democracy

Global Governance

History and Theory of International Relations

Ikenberry, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, has written extensively on this topic before, but his new book is his most impressive work to date. He refutes the critiques of both realists, who deride liberal internationalism as a naive crusade to remake the world in America’s image, and radicals, who dismiss it as a smokescreen behind which capital and empire run amok. Ikenberry insists that it is a pragmatic political project. Its purpose, as the book’s title implies, is to create a world in which free societies can survive and collaborate to resolve the evolving, shared problems of modernity.

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

More on:

World Order

Democracy

Global Governance

History and Theory of International Relations

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